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Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5459
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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My fiancee is currently incarcerated and has been for the past

Customer Question

My fiancee is currently incarcerated and has been for the past three years. He was convicted of some serious charges but remains unsentenced and is being held in the segregation unit of the jail (no interaction with other inmates, only an hour out of his cell a day etc.)

Recently, the psychiatrist started giving him Cyroquil, olanzopine and prozac. Apparently, he was on 2700mg of Cyroquil years ago and was diagnosed as being Shizophrenic. When I asked him about that, he said that he made it up so that he could stay at the Hospital so he told the Doctors that he heard voices etc but insisted that it was just him "playing the system". That was fine - except that things in our relationship are now getting somewhat concerning.

He's constantly accusing me of lying about every little thing. He asks to "verify" what I'm telling him with my Mom (who he knows doesn't live with me) and when I tell him that my Mom is uncomfortable doing that, he gets really upset with me. Says that the only way we can be together is if he can verify what I'm telling him. Last night, my Mom was at my house with some of her friends. He asked to speak with her and I gently told him that I wasn't comfortable going into the living room and interrupting their conversation just so he could say Hi. He absolutely freaked out on me. Said I was lying to him and that I promised I would never lie to him again - when I calmly tried to explain my reasoning to him, he called me a liar and hung up on me.

He's very hypocritical, he demands that things be done exactly when he asks for them. He recently requested information for his case that I sent to his lawyer who sent it to the jail, he launched into a verbal assault almost. Said that I didn't know what I was talking about, I am out to get him etc. We had a huge fight the other night, he told me that all of our relationship problems are my fault and that he did nothing wrong. I got upset and told him he was mean. He went into some state I've never seen or heard before. I called him mean, he started screaming at me saying that he was being honest and if the things he was saying hurt my feelings it wasn't his problem. Told me that it was disrespectful to speak to him that way. I made the comment "I can be just as mean as you are to mean." He went off! Told me that when this went to court and a jury trial, he would demand the recording to be played and everyone would see that he did nothing wrong? I calmed down and explained that I wasn't going to the Police or anything and he seemed to come back down to reality a little. Since then, he refuses to speak about the fight, still stands by that he did nothing wrong and it was all entirely me. Actually, he's always right. Everyone treats him badly, everyone is acting "weird" and if the way that I do something isn't how he does things, it's wrong or suspicious.

If he's not arguing with me or accusing me of lying, he's really depressed. Not talking, his voice is just flat, no emotion etc.

I've tried to let this go. I've tried talking to my own therapist. I've tried contacting the jail psychiatrist but nothing is working. I don't believe it's depression. What could be wrong with him? Is this really schizophrenia?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 1 year ago.
Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

The behavior you describe your fiance having sounds like a personality disorder. He manipulates (lying to the doctor about hearing voices), puts his needs first (insisting you do what he asks), is verbally abusive and is trying to force you to do things you are uncomfortable with. He also seems to have trust issues as shown by his refusal to believe you without "proof" from your mother (an odd request since your mother would likely side with you).

While there is no way to diagnose him without seeing him face to face, your fiance does have some traits of a personality disorder, possibly more than one. Because he is in trouble with the law, it could be that your fiance has some sociopathic tendencies. He may also be narcissistic. The symptoms you describe do not sound like Schizophrenia. It is possible however that he is depressed but it is hard to say without talking to him. Often people in prison can suffer from depression due to their circumstances.

Personality disorders are typically ingrained behaviors that someone develops, usually in response to being raised in a dysfunctional home. The person could not get their needs met (for unconditional love and attention) so they developed other ways to get what they needed which usually involved dysfunctional behaviors. When they grew up, they continued these behaviors even when they were no longer needed.

Treating someone with a personality disorder can be difficult. For one, they have to recognize they have a problem and be willing to get help. Also, personality disorders are hard to treat because they are ingrained in the personality of the person. So treating them is altering the person's perceptions and some basic personality traits. That does not mean they cannot be treated, but the effort it takes on the part of the person is more intense.

Therapy can help your fiance if he is willing but at this point, it sounds like he does not see he has a problem. And if he is willing to lie to the doctor about his symptoms, then he may not feel he needs help except when it benefits his situation.

How you approach this depends on whether or not you want to continue this relationship. If he does have a personality disorder, the likelihood that he would change is very small, even with help. So you may want to talk to your therapist about your options.

In the meanwhile, you can learn more about personality disorders to see if they fit your fiance's behavior and to learn more about how to help yourself:

http://psychology.about.com/od/personalitydisorders/a/personalitydis.htm

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/stop-walking-eggshells/201209/can-people-personality-disorders-have-healthy-relationships

I hope this has helped you,
Kate
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5459
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 1 year ago.
Thank you so much for the positive rating and bonus! I appreciate it.

My best to you,
Kate
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
You're very welcome! You're the first professional to even mention a Personality Disorder and once I read up on it, it seems to fit perfectly.
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 1 year ago.
I'm glad it helped :) Take care.

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